According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), approximately 32,000 auto accident deaths occurred in the United States in 2013. Most accidents, unfortunately, are the result of driver error and are entirely avoidable. To keep yourself and others on the road safe, it is important to be aware of the common actions that are contributing to accidents, so you can avoid them. Below are some of the most common bad driving habits that are major culprits for motor vehicle crashes:
1.Driving while under the influence: We all know that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is against the law, but many still take the dangers of impaired driving too lightly, In fact, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that alcohol caused about 30% of traffic-related deaths in 2012. In 2013, another study revealed that nearly 10 million drivers admitted to driving while under the influence of illicit drugs. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, is extremely dangerous and impacts one’s reasoning and reflexes. Do not operate any vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Designate a sober driver, use a ridesharing service, or call for a taxi.
2.Distracted driving: This is another major cause of accidents on the roadway and many of us often do not appreciate the seriousness of it. Distracted driving does not only refer to using a cell phone while driving, but eating and drinking, adjusting the radio, talking, grooming, or any other activity that might require your attention or for you to take your eyes off the road. If you really need to take care of something, safely pull to the side of the road before you resume driving.
3.Speeding: Excessive speed is a constant culprit for road fatalities. According to the IIHS, 29% of traffic fatalities in 2013 were related to speeding. Not only does this bad driving habit increase the chances of collision, but it often goes hand in hand with other dangerous practices, such as distracted driving, drunk driving, and road rage.
4.Not wearing a seat belt: While many new vehicles have the benefit of exciting and innovative safety features, they are not a substitute for wearing a seat belt. Seat belts can dramatically reduce and even prevent injuries, but many continue to neglect wearing one. This is particularly common among those between the ages of 18 and 34, especially men. Regardless if you are going on a quick drive or a lengthy road trip, be sure to always wear your seat belt. It is the easiest thing you can do to stay safe.
5.Fatigued driving: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 83,000 motor vehicle crashes and over 1,000 fatalities occur each year due to fatigued driving. It might not seem like a big deal to drive while fatigued, but it can actually have effects that are quite similar to drunk driving, including slow reaction times, decreased awareness, and impaired decision-making. If you are tired, pull over to a safe area and take a nap.
6.Disregard for bad weather: Extreme weather conditions can be hazardous even for the best drivers. An estimated 23% of crashes are related to weather, resulting in 6,250 deaths per year. If you find yourself driving in inclement weather, be sure to check that your tires have adequate traction, that your headlights and windshield wipers are functioning. Of course, one of the best safety tips during bad weather is to drive at a slower speed.
7.Not using turn signals: There is very little communication between vehicles on the road. Many fail to properly signal when changing lanes. They weave in and out of traffic without warning causing others to panic creating a chain reaction that can quickly result in a collision. It is required by law to use a turn signal when changing lanes, and it is in your best interest to communicate your intentions to other drivers to prevent injury and damages.
Mt. Pleasant Auto Accident Attorney
At the Lawton Law Firm, we are here to support you if you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence. Our skilled and knowledgeable legal team will help determine if you have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties and fight to maximize your compensation.
We see clients from Mt. Pleasant, Charleston, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (843) 588-5302 to set up a free consultation.